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18 September 2021

Southend United boss Phil Brown said his side need to get back to basics after suffering a third successive defeat following a 1-0 loss to Torquay United at Plainmoor this afternoon.

Connor Lemonheigh-Evans’ goal in the 90th minute put more misery on Blues who continue to wait for a first league win since the opening day of the season against King’s Lynn.

And after the full-time whistle at Plainmoor, the Southend manager gave his assessment of the defeat to the Gulls.

“Minutes before [their goal] we put a ball in that six-yard box that I’m dying to get on the end of. James Dunne’s put the ball on the money, and we haven’t got anywhere near it. It’s a tell-tale sign that there’s a certain lack of confidence with regards to everything that we’re doing at the moment,” said Brown.  

“People are doing certain things and somebody else is doing something different. That’s what happens when you’ve got a team that’s been relegated and trying to find their feet in a division that’s absolutely brutal, as was proved today.”

Following back-to-back relegations that saw Blues drop out of the Football League, Brown’s primary focus this season in the National League is to stop the rot.

But Brown admits that the club are still suffering the ill-effects of that downturn in fortunes and that it’s up to everyone to stop what he describes as the ‘bleeding’.

“It’s difficult but we’ve got to stop the haemorrhaging. I’ve said it all along, but we’re not. We’re bleeding still, and that’s a collective. I can’t put it any blunter than that.

“It starts from within. It starts from ‘you’, whoever that is, whether that’s me, Craig Fagan, the team.

“You’ve got to out there with a belief that you’re a good team. We have been a good team and proved that against teams that are decent at this level. But to get one shot on target the whole game just lacks that little bit of commitment that we need to get out of the trouble that we’re in.”

With the National League one side short this season following Macclesfield’s exclusion last year, Southend now have a ‘bye’ week which gives Blues a fortnight until their next game against Solihull Moors.  

And Brown was asked what he felt he needs to do in the next 14 days to get his side back to winning ways on October 2nd and felt some fresh faces in the camp could make the difference.

“Maybe the introduction of one or two players will change that.

“We’re looking for more character in individuals. When you’re at the bottom, fighting for your life, it takes an inch to turn it around and we’re not really doing that little bit to get the inch.

“It’s been a bad week, but we have a couple of weeks where we can dust ourselves down and get on with a new plan and new regime, which hopefully will be another couple of players coming through the door.

“We’ve got to go back to basics and simply running over teams. If the quality is not there in regards to individuals technically, then we’ve got to be able to physically get them past it.”

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